Wednesday, September 3

the end of summer caught me by surprise this year. technically, we have until september 22nd to enjoy summer by the astronomical definition. but around these parts, fall starts with the kiddos back in school. a quiet summer of light photo assignments and project work is t-boned by sports and education. can't say i didn't know it was coming.

MU cheerleaders (bottom left to right) Lauren Walker, Marnie Matthews, Bethany Nonnemaker, and Paige Pauley exchange phone numbers before the start of Missouri's first pep rally at Memorial Stadium.

Taylor Ruch, 7, rolls down the grass berm on the north end of Faurot Field.

Emma Mallett, 2, looks to her mother as Mike Wheeler, right, is tackled to the turf by (left to right) Mary-Rourke Boyd, 5, Gracie Boyd, 3, and Ellie Mallett, 4. Fans got the chance to roam Faurot Field during Wednesday's pep rally for the first game against Illinois.

Anthony Machetta, left, and Jason Proctor, right, both of Columbia, wait outside the Edward Jones Dome before the gates open on the 2008 Arch Rivalry in St. Louis.

Missouri running back Derrick Washington breaks through a tackle by Illinois Travon Bellamy on his way to a 40-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Washington finished with 130 yards.

Tommy Saunders, center is congratulated by teammates after his second touchdown in the third quarter.

Sean Weatherspoon runs back an interception for a touchdown during the fourth quarter that sealed Missouri's 52-42 win over Illinois.

Missouri is supposed to have a great team again this year. Barring the Sports Illustrated curse, it should be a great season to photograph.

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